|Editor Rating:||6.8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||10.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Over the last few years, the RPG genre has become increasingly important in a console's lineup. With few RPGs scheduled in the PS2's U.S. launch lineup, Agetec has stepped up to the plate with From Software's Evergrace.
Evergrace is an Action/RPG epic telling the story of Yuterald and Shalami. Practically brother and sister, both bear a Crest on the back of their right hand that is thought to bring misfortune upon all who see it. Mysteriously transported to the Rieubane empire, the two heroes will discover the true destiny of those marked with the Crest as they are pursued by the forces of evil. While Evergrace's story is relatively original, its gameplay is mostly familiar to action/RPG fans, with a few interesting nuances. Players can play as both characters, switching between paths at their leisure at Save Crystals. As players explore the world from a third-person perspective, they'll search for keys, hit switches and do other RPG stuff in order to complete their quest. To make things interesting, enemies randomly spawn in their path to provide the necessary combat element.
In addition to a standard attack, players can key a variety of special attacks to another button. After battle, players can collect Biriyana seeds to upgrade their stats, as well as money to buy new equipment. In true From Software fashion, Evergrace does feature a high level of customization options.
In a nod to Final Fantasy Vll's Materia system, "Palmira" gems can be mixed and matched on equipment to create your own unique arsenal of weapons and spells. For example, playing a Flame Palmira on a sword will result in a Flame Sword of some type. Palmira have limited uses, however, so players will have to use these magical resources sparingly. Armor, unlike in most games, is accurately represented on the character models. Taking advantage of this, players can custom-color their outfits to tailor their characters' appearance however they choose.
Originally developed for the PlayStation, Evergrace's visuals have been upgraded to take better advantage of the PlayStation2's hardware. Yuterald and Shalami have high polygon counts, and the environments have a number of textural and polygonal touches that the PlayStation couldn't handle. All kicked up to high resolution, Evergrace's battles are still occasionally marred by slowdown. Hopefully Agetec can address it before the U.S. release. Evergrace's sound represents a strong effort, using soothing fantasy-themed music and lots of recorded dialog to move the story along.
Evergrace should be a good game for starved RPG fans, although it will face some dire competition with RPGs like Dark Cloud and Eternal Arcadia.
Originally planned for release on PlayStation 1, From Software's Evergrace has found a new home on PS2. Several games have already made this jump--another being Capcom's feudal action title Oni Musha. Evergrace is considered a 3D real-time RPG, and is currently set for a spring release in Japan. You star as Yuterald, a grown-up Cloud-looking character who carries a big-arse sword on his back. A "dress-up" mode allows you to change what clothes the characters wear.